Scientific discoveries and advances often negate or disprove what we previously thought or at least give us a better understanding of the topic under consideration. The emergence of the health benefits of nitrite and nitrate in the proper context negates or counters the more than 50 years of research implicating these two anions as toxic, unwanted food additives that potentially cause cancer. New research has revealed that dietary nitrate, primarily from green leafy vegetables, can be serially reduced to nitrite and to nitric oxide. This new paradigm is now recognized as a redundant system for endogenous nitric oxide-based signaling that perhaps can overcome or compensate for loss of nitric oxide synthase production of NO. Understanding how nitrate and nitrite can be metabolized to NO while preventing formation of low molecular weight N-nitrosamines will allow for safe and effective dietary and/or therapeutic strategies to restore endogenous NO-based signaling.
KeywordsFood Nutrition Nitric oxide Nitrite Nitrate Diet
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